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Drones & UAVs News and Discussions


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#81
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Sikorsky Commercial Helo takes Autonomous Flight

 

http://www.upi.com/B.../4511464797278/

 

 

STRATFORD, Conn., June 1 (UPI) -- A Sikorsky S-76 commercial helicopter has performed a 30-mile autonomous flight as part of a U.S. military project.

The flight -- from Sikorsky's facility in Stratford, Conn., to Robertson Airport in Plainville, Conn. -- was performed using Sikorsky's Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System, or ALIAS.

 

"With the advances we've made, the capability for safe, unobtrusive optionally piloted flight is here," said Mark Miller, vice president of Engineering & Technology at Sikorsky. "ALIAS is expanding the role of optionally piloted helicopters for early entry into established aircraft programs. It has the capability of not only reducing aircrew size, but also changing the type and length of training required for safe operation."

 

The successful flight demonstration brought to conclusion the first phase of an ALIAS program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop and insert new levels of automation into existing military and commercial aircraft to enable those aircraft to operate with reduced flight crew.

 

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, has now begun Phase 2 work on DARPA'a ALIAS program under a $9.8 million award modification which focuses on continued maturation of the initial ALIAS system with additional flight tests, enhancements to the human interface and transition to additional aircraft to demonstrate ALIAS portability.

 

"The current environment limits the creation of new, optionally piloted platforms," said Chris Van Buiten, vice president of Sikorsky Innovations, the technology research group for the Engineering & Technology organization. "What Sikorsky and DARPA are demonstrating is the successful and affordable integration of advanced technology onto existing legacy aircraft to not only set the stage for autonomous operations down the road, but also to immediately improve aircraft performance, reduce maintenance costs, and increase crew and passenger safety."


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#82
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Insitu Gets U.S. Navy Blackjack Drone Contract

 

 

http://www.upi.com/B.../3371464786672/

 

 

WASHINGTON, June 1 (UPI) -- Insitu Inc. has received a $71.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for the production of Lot V RQ-21A Blackjack drones.

Under the contract, Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary, is to provide air vehicle procurement, ground control stations, launch and recovery equipment, shipboard equipment kits, as well as systems engineering and program management.

 

Work will be performed in Washington state and Oregon, with an expected completion date of October 2017. Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

The RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned arial vehicle is a larger twin-tailed follow-on to the ScanEagle UAV and was selected in 2010 to serve the Navy and Marine Corps' needs for a small tactical drone.

 

 

The system provides maritime and land-based reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition data collection and dissemination. The Blackjack's open-architecture configuration can integrate new payloads quickly and can carry up to 25 pounds of sensor payloads.

Insitu-gets-US-Navy-Blackjack-drone-cont

 

Boeing subsidiary Insitu Inc. has received a $71.5 million U.S. Navy contract for production of Blackjack drones. Photo courtesy Insitu Inc.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#83
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Lol


Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#84
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Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#85
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Wal-Mart says it is 6-9 months from using drones to check warehouse inventory

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said Thursday it was six to nine months from beginning to use drones to check warehouse inventories in the United States, taking a step closer to using the technology to compete better with rivals.
 
In October 2015, the world's largest retailer applied to U.S. regulators for permission to test drones for home delivery, curbside pickup and checking warehouse inventories as it planned to use drones to fill and deliver online orders. Federal regulators are still considering rules for commercial operation of drones that would be involved in package delivery - viewed as the next frontier for big retailers such as Walmart and Amazon Inc (AMZN.O).
 
Walmart's Vice President of Last Mile and Emerging Sciences Shekar Natarajan demonstrated the use of drones to reporters in one of the company's regional distribution centers.
 
"We are still in early phases of testing and understanding how drones can be better used in different types of business functions," he said.
 
The remotely controlled drone captured 30 frames per second of products on aisles and alerted the user when product ran out or was incorrectly stocked. Natarajan said drones can reduce the labor intensive process of checking stocks around the warehouse to one day. It currently takes a month to finish manually.


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#86
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We are going to be hearing a lot more about passenger drones in the coming years.
 

Drone Taxis? Nevada To Allow Testing Of Passenger Drone

The idea: a drone taxi that can transport a single passenger for up to 23 minutes.
A Chinese company called EHang and the state of Nevada are trying to make this happen by moving forward with testing the EHang 184 drone. It's billed as the "world's first passenger drone capable of autonomously carrying a person in the air for 23 minutes," as The Guardian reported.
"I personally look forward to the day when drone taxis are part of Nevada's transportation system," Tom Wilczek, Aerospace and Defense Industry Specialist for the Governor's Office of Economic Development, said in a statement.
As The Guardian points out, that could take a while: "Given that fully autonomous road vehicles are unlikely to be widely available until the middle of the next decade, the time when commuters can simply jump in a flying autonomous taxi drone to get to work appears to be some time off yet."
The GOED and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems reached an agreement with EHang last month and "will help guide EHang through the FAA regulatory process with the ultimate goal of achieving safe flight," according to the GOED statement.
The drone was first introduced in Nevada at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in January in Las Vegas. Testing is expected to begin this year at the Nevada FAA UAS Test Site, though no specific dates have been announced.

ap_458117453489_custom-1718b7721c77f10e6
The EHang 184 autonomous aerial vehicle is unveiled at the EHang booth at CES International in January in Las Vegas. The drone is large enough to fit a human passenger.
John Locher/AP


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#87
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FAA passes new drone laws allowing for people to fly them without a license: http://www.bbc.com/n...ology-36584515

 

Here is a quick rundown of the new laws:

 

The regulations state that commercial drones can be flown as long as the pilot is over the age of 16, has the drone in his or her line of sight, and does not elevate to over 400 feet above ground level.

Daylight and twilight flying will be allowed only if the drone has lights that can be seen more than three miles away.

The drones must weigh less than 55lb (25kg), and pilots must pass an aeronautics safety test at least once every 24 months.

Night-time flying is not allowed under the new rules. But the FAA said it would set up an online portal for people to submit requests for drone use that goes beyond the rules set out on Tuesday.


The only thing we ever want is more


#88
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Germany to Lease Israeli Heron Drones

 

http://www.upi.com/B.../9951467298833/

 

 

 

 

BERLIN, June 30 (UPI) -- Germany's Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries have signed an agreement for the Bundeswehr to acquire Heron drones, the ministry said.

The lease deal is intended to bridge Germany's drone capability gap until a planned European drone comes online, the MOD said when announcing the June 23 agreement.

 

The lease will go until 2025.

 

The Israeli Ynetnews reported this week that the deal is worth $666 million and involves five drones that can carry bombs and rockets.

German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen announced the selection in January.

 

The Heron TP is a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV able to operate for 52 hours at a time, depending on the payload. The variant distinguishes itself from the Heron 1 by being armed in addition to carrying out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

 

The aircraft is used by a number of militaries around the world, including Canada, Brazil, Australia, Turkey, and the United States.

Germany-to-lease-Israeli-Heron-drones.jp

 

German Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries have signed an agreement for the Bundeswehr to lease Heron drones, the MOD said. U.S. Air Force photo


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#89
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FAA Press Release On The New Drone Laws:

 

http://www.faa.gov/n...fm?newsId=20515

 

Extract:

 

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has finalized the first operational rules (PDF) for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”), opening pathways towards fully integrating UAS into the nation’s airspace. These new regulations work to harness new innovations safely, to spur job growth, advance critical scientific research and save lives.

 

“We are part of a new era in aviation, and the potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information, and deploy disaster relief,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We look forward to working with the aviation community to support innovation, while maintaining our standards as the safest and most complex airspace in the world.”

 

According to industry estimates, the rule could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.

The new rule, which takes effect in late August, offers safety regulations for unmanned aircraft drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are conducting non-hobbyist operations.

The rule’s provisions are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground. The regulations require pilots to keep an unmanned aircraft within visual line of sight. Operations are allowed during daylight and during twilight if the drone has anti-collision lights. The new regulations also address height and speed restrictions and other operational limits, such as prohibiting flights over unprotected people on the ground who aren’t directly participating in the UAS operation.

 

The FAA is offering a process to waive some restrictions if an operator proves the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver. The FAA will make an online portal available to apply for these waivers in the months ahead...

 

Although the new rule does not specifically deal with privacy issues in the use of drones, and the FAA does not regulate how UAS gather data on people or property, the FAA is acting to address privacy considerations in this area. The FAA strongly encourages all UAS pilots to check local and state laws before gathering information through remote sensing technology or photography.

 

As part of a privacy education campaign, the agency will provide all drone users with recommended privacy guidelines as part of the UAS registration process and through the FAA’s B4UFly mobile app. The FAA also will educate all commercial drone pilots on privacy during their pilot certification process; and will issue new guidance to local and state governments on drone privacy issues. The FAA’s effort builds on the privacy “best practices” (PDF) the National Telecommunications and Information Administration published last month as the result of a year-long outreach initiative with privacy advocates and industry.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#90
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Chinese company to test world's first single-passenger drone in US

The world’s first passenger drone, the Ehang 184, capable of autonomously carrying a person in the air for 23 minutes has received necessary approval from Nevada's governor's office needed to develop and be tested at the state's Federal Aviation Administration-approved drone test site. 
The Chinese firm Ehang, which unveiled the electric Ehang 184 passenger drone at CES in Las Vegas in January, says the Ehang 184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) is a 142-horsepower “personal flying vehicle” that can transport a single human being from Point A to Point B at an altitude of more than 11,000 feet.
The southern China's Guangzhou-based company has partnered with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to put the drone through testing and regulatory approval.
“I personally look forward to the day when drone taxis are part of Nevada’s transportation system,” said Wilczek, Goed’s aerospace and defense specialist.
The Ehang 184 has a span of 18 feet when fully unfolded, weighs 440 lbs, and can carry a passenger weighing up to 264 pounds. Its maximum flying altitude is 11,480 feet, and the AAV can fly for as long as 23 minutes when at sea level.
It can be controlled entirely through a mobile app. The name of the vehicle makes reference of its features and abilities able to carry one passenger with eight propellers and four arms.

FOREIGN201606121122000008378677174.jpg


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#91
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Is this our future?  Will we see drones on every lampost and church charging themselves now when we walk around??

 

http://www.cnbc.com/...e-perches.html

 

Amazon wants to use lampposts, churches as drone ‘perches’

 

Amazon has been awarded a patent for "docking stations" for its delivery drones that will be built on tall structures such as lampposts or churches and allow the unmanned machines to recharge and pick up packages.

 

"The docking stations may incorporate a number of features to enable UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to fly longer routes, to fly routes more accurately, and to provide shelter during adverse conditions," Amazon's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing said.

Amazon is currently grappling with regulators on getting regulation passed that supports its plan to deliver parcels by unmanned flying machines. Toward the end of June, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued new rules that essentially killed off Amazon's drone plans.

Still, the U.S. e-commerce giant has been filing patents and testing out its drones.

The latest patent describes docking stations which could be installed on cell towers, church steeples, office building, electric poles, and generally tall structures. It would allow a drone to land, avoid bad weather, recharge or refuel and drop off and pick up packages.

Amazon outlines the idea of a "central control system" which could communicate with each docking station. The system would calculate the most direct route for a drone to follow, and be able to redirect it along a path with the most favorable conditions, for example, with the least wind.

The ability to recharge is also very useful as the drones are unlikely to be able to travel very large distances.

A drone could also transfer packages at these docking stations. Once it lands, it could deliver a package on a platform which would then move it down via a "vacuum tube, dumbwaiter, elevator, or conveyor" to a delivery person on the ground.

Amazon also said the docking stations could act as cell towers, so that they could provide local free or fee-based internet services in public areas "without bearing the burden of installing some, or all, of the necessary infrastructure".

Also, the docking stations could be used for advertising to "generate additional revenue for the provider", according to Amazon.

The patent follows one awarded to Amazon last year which outlined how the drones would "talk" to each other to plan routes and communicate.

Like with all patents, the idea may never come to fruition.


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#92
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The world's fastest consumer drone can record 4K video at 85 miles per hour

George Matus was 11 years old when he flew his first drone. "I was immediately hooked," the young man tells me with a grin. By age 16 he was competing as a professional drone racer and acting as a test pilot for new aircraft. Now 18, he recently finished high school but decided to defer college, opting instead to pursue a fellowship offer from tech billionaire Peter Thiel. He used that money to start his own company, Teal, which today is launching its first product, a consumer facing drone that a beginner can easily fly with an iPhone to capture 4K video. The difference between Teal's first drone and the competition is that this unit can also perform like a racecar, reaching speeds of 85 miles per hour while flipping, diving, and performing barrel rolls.
I got the chance to see Matus fly, and the performance of the prototype unit he showed me was breathtaking. Unfortunately it didn't have a 4K camera ready yet, so I couldn't judge the quality of the footage or stabilization. It also didn't have its guidance systems fully in place, and so there was some noticeable drift while hovering. Matus says all these things will be fixed by the time the drone ships. The company is coming out of stealth and launching preorders today, charging $1,299 for a unit (which it promises will arrive before Christmas of 2016).


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#93
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First U.S.-approved drone delivery drops off donuts from 7-Eleven

The robot apocalypse is here, in the form of drones delivering donuts.
Yes, that's right, technology may soon supplant the jobs of delivery drivers too. The first drone delivery in the United States approved by aviation officials has been made, thanks to drone startup Flirtey in collaboration with 7-Eleven. It successfully carried and dropped off a chicken sandwich, hot coffee and donuts from a 7-Eleven store in Reno, Nevada, reports Phys.org.
"This is just the first step in our collaboration with 7-Eleven. Flirtey's historic drone deliveries to date have been stepping stones to store-to-home drone delivery, and today is a giant leap toward a not-too-distant future where we are delivering you convenience on demand," said Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny.

drone.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart.jpg

Deliveries via drone could soon become a common sight. (Photo: Andrew Turner/flickr)

DSC_6957site.jpg


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#94
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News on Amazon Prime Air delivery drones

 

 

The [British] government's getting together with the retail giant Amazon to start testing flying drones that can deliver parcels to your door.

Amazon's paying for the programme, which will look at the best way to allow hundreds of robotic aircraft to buzz around Britain's skies safely.

The company claims it'll eventually mean small parcels will arrive at your house within 30 minutes of ordering them online.

 

Ministers say they want to create an environment where drones can be operated safely, beyond the line of sight, by 2020.


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#95
caltrek

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US Releases Redacted Drone Strike 'Playbook'

 

https://www.yahoo.co...201.html?ref=gs

 

Introduction:

 

Washington (AFP) - The US government has released a once-secret policy document dubbed "the playbook" that shows how officials select drone targets in areas outside war zones and the key role the president has in the process.

 

The 18-page Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG), published Saturday by the American Civil Liberties Union, provides more details than the government had previously revealed on how drone strikes are approved.

 

"Actions, including lethal action against designated terrorist targets, shall be as discriminating and precise as reasonably possible," the PPG states.

President Barack Obama typically must personally sign off on plans to strike terror suspects who are located outside war zones in which America is officially fighting. Such zones include Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

 

Strikes in combat theaters such as Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are controlled by the military.

 

Each case for action is subjected to legal review before it goes to the National Security Council and then the president.

 

The policy document says that "absent extraordinary circumstances," a drone strike on a high-value target will only be taken if there is "near certainty" no civilians will be killed, and says the United States should respect another nation's sovereignty in weighing drone strikes.

 

The partially redacted document was released as a result of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, which has long sparred with the government over America's secretive drone program.

"The PPG provides crucial information about policies that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including hundreds of non-combatants, and about the bureaucracy that the Obama administration has constructed to oversee and implement those policies," ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said in a statement.

 

"The release of the PPG and related documents is also a timely reminder of the breadth of the powers that will soon be in the hands of another president," he added.

Justice Department lawyers turned the document over to the ACLU late Friday, and the rights group released it publicly on Saturday.

 

The Obama administration last month provided fatality estimates for 473 strikes between 2009 and 2015 that were conducted outside principal war zones.

Officials claimed anywhere from 64 to 116 civilians were killed in the strikes, and up to 2,581 combatants -- but critics have constantly said the government underestimates civilian deaths.

 

b70fe13aa43ae90f161c5b0f31cec4f0789f812c

Pakistani residents look at vehicle hit by a drone strike in the remote town of Ahmad Wal in Balochistan, in May 2016 (AFP Photo/)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#96
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Olympics a No-Fly Zone for DJI Drones

 

http://www.roboticst..._for_dji_drones

 

 

 

At the request of the Brazilian military, you won’t be able to fly DJI drones near any Olympic venues.

 

DJI has updated the software on its drones to apply temporary no-fly zones near Olympic venues in Rio, São Paulo and other locations where the games are taking place.

DJI has taken similar precautions during other big events around the world, including both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention in the United States in 2016, the G7 Summit in Japan and the Euro 2016 football tournament in France.

 

“The coordinates of the no-fly zones were recommended by the Brazilian military, which is in charge of protecting airspace during the athletic events,” DJI said in a release. “They include six zones in Rio de Janeiro and one zone each in Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Manaus, and Salvador.”

The restrictions will, of course, be lifted soon after the games end on August 21.

 

no-fly zone was also placed over Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif. earlier this year. The Federal Aviation Administration said there were four airspace violations during Super Bowl 50, but none of the incidents involved drones. In the US, drones have been banned from flying above sporting events since at least 2014. Here’s some details on those restrictions, courtesy NOTAM FDC 4/3621:

 

All aircraft operations; including parachute jumping, unmanned aircraft and remote controlled aircraft, are prohibited within a 3 NMR up to and including 3000 FT AGL of any stadium having a seating capacity of 30,000 or more people where either a regular or post season Major League Baseball, National Football League, or NCAA division one football game is occurring. This NOTAM also applies to NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series races excluding qualifying and pre-race events.

DJIPhantom4drone.jpg

 

Photo Caption: Drone enthusiasts won't be able to fly DJI drones, including this Phantom 4, near any Olympic venues. (Photo Credit: DJI)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#97
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Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#98
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Drones seized over HMP Pentonville carrying drugs and phones

Drones carrying large amounts of drugs and mobile phones have been intercepted by police as they were being flown near a north London jail.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...london-37152665


_90872943_mediaitem90872942.jpg



#99
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Domino’s Delivering Pizza by Drone

 

http://www.roboticst..._pizza_by_drone

 

 

Extract:

 

Pizza lovers in Auckland, New Zealand rejoice. Flirtey and Domino’s are developing pizza delivery drones, successfully demoing the system today in front of the Civil Aviation Authority and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges.

 

The companies say pizza-by-drone deliveries to customer homes could begin later in 2016 from a select New Zealand Domino’s store. And, yes, the drone delivery system keeps your pizza or breadsticks pipping hot.

 

Flirtey’s staff help Domino’s workers safely load the delivery drones at the store. The drones then fly at around 200 feet in the air and the customer is notified as the delivery is approaching. The deliveries are then made to customer’s home by safely lowering the package out of the air.

 

“Launching the first commercial drone delivery service in the world is a landmark achievement for Flirtey and Domino’s, soon you will be able to order a Flirtey to deliver your pizza on-demand,” said Matt Sweeny, CEO of Flirtey. “New Zealand has the most forward-thinking aviation regulations in the world, and with the new U.S. drone regulations taking effect on Aug. 29, Flirtey is uniquely positioned to bring the same revolutionary Flirtey drone delivery service to partners within the United States.”

 

This partnership makes total sense as both companies have been leading the way when it comes to delivery robots. Domino’s has also been developing the DRU pizza delivery robot that has four wheels, is less than three feet tall, and has a heated compartment that can hold up to 10 pizzas. It can deliver pizzas within a 12.5-mile radius before needing to be recharged. No immediate word on how drone delivery would affect the DRU pizza delivery robot....

 

Flirtey has also made three other historic drone deliveries in the US. On July 17, 2015 Flirtey completed the first FAA-approved drone delivery by flying medical supplies from the Lonesome Pine Airport to the Remote Area Hospital in Wise County, Virginia, which is one of the most impoverished area’s in the country.

flirtey-pizza-delivery-drone.jpg

Photo Caption: Flirtey's pizza delivery drones fly at around 200 feet in the air and the notify the customer as the delivery is approaching. The deliveries are then made to customer’s home by safely lowering the package out of the air.                                                                                               (Credit: Flirtey)


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#100
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